Helen, a fashion and interior designer, was devastated when her husband, Francis Bromovsky, suddenly passed away during a holiday in Turkey.
Francis had travelled from Austria to holiday with his wife, and feeling exhausted retired to bed. Helen noticed he had a temperature and recalls him complaining the lights were too bright before falling asleep. It took just four hours for meningitis to take his life.
“Francis was tired and said he was going to bed which didn’t seem right as he was always so excited when we were on the boat. I gave him water and kissed him goodnight."
“In the morning I woke up early and everything was really still. And quiet. Normally, Francis would bring me coffee early and leap into the sea. But he hadn’t. I put on my swimsuit and went to wake him to go for a swim, but he was dead.”
Five years on, Helen and her daughters Nollie, Bella and Kitty have embarked upon a project to help ‘fill an emotional and physical void’ left by Francis’ sudden death.
The Ottoman Collection, inspired by her love for her husband and their shared affection for Turkey, is a couture ensemble of tailored jellabas, kilmonos and pendants.
“Our story is tragic but we are determined to triumph."
“Francis was obsessed with Turkey and I jumped onto his magic carpet and went with him. We had many adventurous holidays and I was always drawn to the robes of Ottoman’s."
“After my husband’s death I threw myself into my genuine passion, inspired by our ever expanding collection of antique robes, and the Ottoman Collection was born.”
A percentage of the profits from sales of the contemporary collection will be donated to us, helping fight the disease that killed Francis through pioneering preventative research, lifesaving awareness and support.
“We wish Helen the best of luck with her collection – her love and passion for Francis and Turkish inspired design shines through, as does her strength and determination to overcome such a loss."
“We rely on support like this to help fund our lifesaving work as without the generosity of our supporters we would not exist."
“As Francis’ story highlights, meningitis strikes fast and can kill within hours. Knowing the signs and symptoms to look out for and acting quickly can save lives.”
Sue Davie, Chief Executive
Signs and symptoms of meningitis include headaches, vomiting, dislike of bright lights, drowsiness and fever. For more information about signs and symptoms download our free app or order our lifesaving awareness cards.